Polis Pushes for Grand Canyon Bison to be Sent to Colorado
Earlier this year, the National Park Service opened up a lottery system where trained shooters would use their skills to hunt a dozen bison living in Grand Canyon National Park. The reasoning behind this is because hundreds of bison have made the North Rim of the park their home, which as a result, has caused heavy damage to vegetation and historical sites, as well as contaminated limited water supplies.
The bison hunting is on track to begin this week, but Colorado Governor Jared Polis has a different solution regarding the overpopulation problem — send the animals to the Centennial State where they can roam and live free.
According to the Washington Post, more than 45,000 individuals applied to the lottery for the chance to hunt bison in the park.
Instead of killing any of these majestic animals, Polis, along with other Colorado politicians, are pushing for the U.S. Department of the Interior to reverse their decision that allows the bison to be hunted on National Park Service land. Part of Polis's plan would be bringing the bison to a protected shortgrass prairie wildlife refuge in Colorado, where the Southern Plains Land Trust has offered to be part of a solution that would give these bison the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives in peace.
Rocky Mountain PBS reported that U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior last week, that suggested using non-lethal methods to reduce the herd's future population. However, his letter did not reference Polis' idea of bringing them to Colorado.
Animal advocacy groups have also backed the idea of using non-lethal measures on the Grand Canyon National Park bison herd.